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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Cultural Geography
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Cultural Geography

How does culture contribute to the liveability of places? Which role does the landscape play in the establishment of a regional identity? How could tourism and heritage stimulate regional development?

These questions will be tackled in the master Cultural Geography. You will learn how culture and identity play a role in the liveability of cities and the countryside and the wellbeing of people. Central themes of the Master programme are culture, identity, liveability, landscape, tourism and heritage. You will explore the relations between these themes both theoretically and practically in several courses. You will study and apply these insights in the Netherlands and in international contexts, for example, during an annually organized field trip to a European city outside of the Netherlands. As a student in Cultural Geography, we offer the possibility to follow the Tourism Geography and Planning track. In this track you will approach liveability and identity questions specifically from the perspective of the tourism sector.

In the Master Cultural Geography you will develop a critical stance and practical insights into how you could support the social cohesion, resilience and adaptive power of communities and people to innovate. After graduating from this Master programme, you will be able to apply your insights in diverse policy, research and consultancy sectors including urban and rural development, heritage conservation, tourism and landscape management.

You will follow the master Cultural Geography and the master track Tourism Geography and Planning in Leeuwarden at the RUG/Campus Fryslân. Note that some compulsory and optional courses are still offered in Groningen.

If you are looking for a two year programme and are interested in doing research, you can also integrate the master in Cultural Geography with our two year top rated Research Master in Spatial Sciences.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Cultural Geography
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
60656
Language of instruction
English
Start
February, September
Faculty
Spatial Sciences
Why study this programme in Leeuwarden?

The University of Groningen is the only university in the Netherlands that offers a Master in Cultural Geography. It is one of the few masters taught in Campus Fryslân. Students are trained with the necessary critical, analytical, methodological and theoretical tools to contribute to place-related liveability in society. Career perspectives vary from governments, NGOs and corporate roles.

Most compulsory courses are taught in Leeuwarden. All courses in the Tourism Geography & Planning track are offered in Leeuwarden. Two compulsory courses for the regular (non-track) programme (Revitalizing Neighbourhoods, Social Impact Assessment) are still taught in Groningen. Depending on the choice made by the student, optional courses for the regular programme may also be in Groningen.

Programme
Periods
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Fieldwork Cultural Geography (5 EC)
Place, Regions & Identities (5 EC)
Optional courses (10 EC)
Nature, Landscape & Heritage (5 EC)
Master's Thesis Cultural Geography (20 EC)
Qualitative Research Methods (5 EC)
Revitalizing Neighbourhoods (5 EC)
Social Impact Assessment (5 EC)

Curriculum

More information about these courses can be found on http://www.rug.nl/frw/education/master-info-frw/courses-master-cultural-geography. Starting from September 2017 all compulsory courses are taught in Leeuwarden.

Programme options
Tourism Geography and Planning (track)

Which impacts does tourism have on the social, cultural and spatial characteristics of an area? How do tourists influence and experience places and cultures? How can regional identities be used for tourism planning, and how could tourism contribute to regional development?.You will tackle these questions and study the interactions between tourists, visitors and local communities in detail in the Tourism Geography and Planning track. This track is an optional programme of the Master Cultural Geography.Tourism is a global phenomenon with important regional and local impacts. Due to the large number of tourist trips and the possible economic influences, tourism development is often seen by policy makers as an important strategy for regional development. Tourism is an important instrument to achieve economic growth and improvement of the quality of life and the standard of living in areas that struggle with a decline in traditional economic sectors.The Tourism Geography and Planning track offers critical insights into the role of the tourism sector in such liveability and identity questions. It offers international, place-based, critical and research-oriented approaches. You will discuss socio-cultural and spatial perspectives on tourism development, planning theories, research methods and relevant practices of tourism and places in the curriculum.You will follow the Master track Tourism Geography and Planning in Leeuwarden (RUG/Campus Fryslân). Note that some compulsory and optional courses are offered in Groningen. The Faculty of Spatial Sciences cooperates for the Master track with the School of Tourism Management of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional

Each year dozens of students of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences stay at a foreign university as an exchange student. The faculty has exchange agreements with universities in Europe, New Zealand and the USA.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test
  • English on VWO level
  • IELTS overall band 6.5, no less than 6.5 on each section
  • TOEFL internet based:
  • Overall: 90
  • Reading: 21 (19-23)
  • Listening: 21 (20-23)
  • Speaking: 21 (20-22)
  • Writing: 24 (24-26)
  • Cambridge English: Cambridge certificate C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency (formerly known as CAE/CPE)
  • Please note that TOEFL MyBest Scores are not considered in the Admissions procedure
  • An exemption can be given by the Admission Board.
previous education

Academic Bachelor degree in geography or social sciences, with some background knowledge in Geography, including at least 10 ECTS in statistics and research methods. Research Universities bachelor degrees in Social, Rural, Human Geography and Urban and Regional Planning; Environment and Infrastructure Planning; Sociology; Social Psychology; Landscape Architecture; Cultural Anthropology; International Relations; Land Use Planning.

If you are not directly admissible you can follow a pre-master programme. See more information in the pre-master guide: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/pre-master/

other admission requirements

In the year 2020-2021 it may be possible for you to start your Master programme with 15 ECTS or less deficiency, the so called 'Zachte Knip'. For more information, please visit: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/introduction/zachte-knip/

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
All Universities of applied sciences

Via a pre-master

More information:

For more information about the pre-master please see https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/pre-master/

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Spatial Planning and DesignAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Human Geography and PlanningAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
SociologyAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Cultural Anthropology and Development SociologyAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Liberal Arts and SciencesAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

Direct access with Philosophy, Politics & Economics, and Societies and Cultures in Transition. No access with other majors.

Landscape Architecture and PlanningAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
Global Responsibility & LeadershipAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements
International Relations and International OrganizationAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202001 September 2020
15 January 202101 February 2021
15 August 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test
  • English on VWO level
  • IELTS overall band 6.5, no less than 6.5 on each section
  • TOEFL internet based:
  • Overall: 90
  • Reading: 21 (19-23)
  • Listening: 21 (20-23)
  • Speaking: 21 (20-22)
  • Writing: 24 (24-26)
  • Cambridge English: Cambridge certificate C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency (formerly known as CAE/CPE)
  • Please note that TOEFL MyBest Scores are not considered in the Admissions procedure
  • An exemption can be given by the Admission Board.
previous education

Academic Bachelor degree in geography or social sciences, with some background knowledge in Geography, including at least 10 ECTS in statistics and research methods. Research Universities bachelor degrees in Social, Rural, Human Geography and Urban and Regional Planning; Environment and Infrastructure Planning; Sociology; Social Psychology; Landscape Architecture; Cultural Anthropology; International Relations; Land Use Planning.

If you are not directly admissible you can follow a pre-master programme. See more information in the pre-master guide: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/pre-master/

other admission requirements

In the year 2020-2021 it may be possible for you to start your Master programme with 15 ECTS or less deficiency, the so called 'Zachte Knip'. For more information, please visit: https://www.rug.nl/frw/education/introduction/zachte-knip/

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202001 September 2020
15 January 202101 February 2021
15 August 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

You will find graduates of the Msc. Cultural Geography in a variety of places.

Our graduates get jobs with:

  • international organisations, such as UN and EU agencies;
  • national government departments;
  • regional and local government agencies;
  • commercial firms of all kinds
  • consulting firms
  • non-government organisations of various kinds
  • tourist agencies


To optimize the connection between the Master's program and the labour market, we try to stay in touch with our alumni, for example via the LinkedIn group Master Cultural Geography.

During the programme at the University of Groningen we offer support for your career preparation.

More information about the FSS Career Services.

See where our alumni end up in this graphic !

Research

Research in the Master

The research at the Department of Cultural Geography is strongly embedded in the research programme of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences.

It is labelled ‘tWIST: Towards Wellbeing, Innovation and Spatial Transformation’. Central in this research are experiences of local communities around the globe. The research in Cultural Geography focuses on place, identity and wellbeing and includes population decline and healthy aging.

Topics of recent research projects are:

  • Community participation;
  • Aging and wellbeing;
  • Innovation and rural transformation;
  • Socio-spatial consequences of population decline;
  • Heritage; evolution of the historical landscape;
  • Nature and health;
  • Entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility;
  • Employment opportunities
  • Housing and the living environment of the different groups in society;
  • Social impact assessment;
  • Social aspects of new technologies;
  • Social aspects of agriculture;
  • Social aspects of natural resource management;
  • Tourism and (cross-border) regional development; film and music tourism.

The research projects deal with the relations between people and place. Knowing your own 'place' is of fundamental importance for the formation of human identity and well-being. Cultural expressions such as art, architecture, rituals and language, and our knowledge and appreciation of nature and landscape interact with the physical environment to form our live stories and the liveability of places. Therefore, the ways in which we construct space and place are physical manifestations of both our imagination and our self-awareness. This perspective allows you to understand and explain differences between places, communities and the spatial behaviour of humans.

Our research is strongly empirical. Students will become familiar with qualitative and quantitative research methods during the Master, applied to the topics of place attachment, identity and liveability. Innovative research methods such as visual methodologies and location-based applications (social or soft GIS) can be used for the Master Thesis.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact

Contact

  • Saskia Enuma (Study advisor)
    Email: study.advice.fss rug.nl
    Telephone: 050 36 33906
  • Drs. Nienke Harteveld (Study advisor)
    Email: study.advice.fss rug.nl
    Telephone: 050 36 33906
  • 
						Testimonial of Walter Apotheker

    Learning about different feelings people can have towards a place, the importance of heritage, and measuring place identity sounded (and were!) very interesting. Finding work after the programme was a lot easier than I expected.

    – Walter Apotheker
    Read more

    Learning about different feelings people can have towards a place, the importance of heritage, and measuring place identity sounded (and were!) very interesting. Finding work after the programme was a lot easier than I expected.

    In 2017 I was accepted to the pre-master programme for Cultural Geography. I picked the study because the presentation at the University’s Master’s day really spoke to me. For the Master’s day I had signed up for any presentation that sounded vaguely exciting which is something I can recommend if you’re not sure yet what you want to do in your Master’s.

    Learning about different feelings people can have towards a place, the importance of heritage, and measuring place identity sounded (and were!) very interesting. One of the big advantages of Cultural Geography is that it’s a relatively small programme which means you will get to know all your fellow students. It also makes the courses more personal.

    Among my favorite courses were Nature, Landscape and Heritage and Social Impact Assessment. Having completed these courses also turned out to be helpful in finding a job. Finding work after the programme was a lot easier than I expected (former lecturers will help you if you ask them!) and I now work for Sweco, a European engineering company focused on designing the cities of the future.

    Walter

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Study associations

Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta is the Faculty Association of Spatial Sciences
Becoming a member of Ibn Battuta means you can join the social drinks, foreign trips, lectures and all other activities organized by the Association. At these events you come into contact with students from all years, which is a great way to make friends that can last a lifetime! Ibn Battuta also organizes informative and career-focused activities. Our informative activities, such as lectures, In-Housedays and the Career Day will help you to orient on your future.
https://www.ibnbattuta.nl/
Read more
Study support

Courses in the Master of Cultural Geography are taught in groups of approximately 20-25 students. During your Master you intensively get to know the teachers and your fellow students. The teachers are enthusiastic and accessible. You will be given a personal supervisor for your Master's thesis research project. The research process is supported by discussing the different steps in the research process with the whole group of Master students.